Enter Training Too Late

Interview, Hire, Orientation, Training, and then Success!  A process that seems simple and logical, and yet rarely applied in mid-sized and small companies that are growing fast.

Too many times I watch companies interview and hire and orientation consists of completing HR and payroll paperwork and bam, the new person begins work with the expectation of  great performance.  When the employee is unsuccessful, they are pulled out for training, and then the poor soul tries it again.

I’ve also seen new hires slip from orientation to a generic “one size fits all” training session that assumes the whole group is on the same learning curve.  Occasionally this will work, but most often the new employees in the training come with a wide range of skills and experiences.  This means that some are bored to tears and day dreaming and others are sweating bullets trying to keep up.

When training is applied after the fact, or the skills being trained are not matched well to existing competencies, the training becomes less than effective.  It becomes the scape goat for under performing employees, and once again loses credibility.  It is also extremely difficult to retrain a process just learned on the job.

As we speak, a company is hiring over a 1000 new employees to assume a function they will all perform, and yet the sheer scale of this many new hires at one time will bring a vast array of skills.  At a minimum this company should be considering 2 versions of their training program, but instead plan to run everyone through their basic training.  On average, half of these people will fit the content of the basic training, while the remaining will either be lost or bored.

Another company is planning two acquisitions this year that will increase their 200 employee head count to about 600.  Roughly 200 employees in each company need to learn a new operating system, the system that the acquiring company uses and 200 of the 600 employees already know how to use.  Simply you say?  Just train the 400 new employees in the new system.  But what if this is happening in the next 2 months, and our acquiring company doesn’t have a training program for their existing system?

Training is a powerful tool for employee success, and yet it is often used way too late in the employee life cycle.  Train early and appropriately and success can be yours!


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